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One Bad Week

November 7, 2007 Leave a comment

This is another one of those weeks where everything turns to shit. I’ve been losing things, breaking things, forgetting things, missing things, dropping things which in turn causes them to malfunction… and it’s only Tuesday. I wish people would make their kids shut the fuck up on the train/subway/bus/whatever public transportation I happen to be taking.

And please don’t repeat every single sentence your kid utters; it’s annoying and you sound like an asshole doing it.

Friends and/or hot cocoa would have been nice today after work; I had neither.

I’ve been meaning to blog for a while now but somehow never got around to doing it; I forget, I’m too tired, I’m lazy… I mean, shit happens. At any rate, I won’t be making this a pointless entry, nor will it be another one of those bitch-posts; a decent update is in order.

Driving’s been great fun so far; I’ve had four lessons to this date, for a grand total of six hours. Since I last talked about my driving lessons, I learned how to parallel park and drive on the highway. This last time felt very natural, and I didn’t fuck up at all, so I don’t know what everyone’s talking about when they mention shoulders tightening up and being all tense and shit. I find the overall experience pretty thrilling. Three more lessons and then, the road test. I suppose I’ll update the day before that, which also happens to be…my birthday. Awesome.

Ay! Last time I blogged, I forgot to talk about Homecoming weekend, which was most exciting. Chuck and Susan came to Philly for the occasion–the latter stayed with me, the former crashed in a friend’s posh apartment in Rittenhouse–and the festivities on campus were…impressive, I guess that’d be the right word.

That Friday evening I met up with Suz and Gus for food + beer at La Terrasse (we had originally planned for New Deck but the place was crazy packed–it’s a bit too fratty at night for my taste anyway) and it was delicious; I think it might have been the first time anyone cooked my meat just right–medium rare–in this country (the second time was this past weekend, more on that later).

Saturday was spent mostly on campus with part of the gang at the Engineering post-game reception, which included free food, beer, and a very annoying in-your-face photographer. Apparently the game was lame and we lost–whatever, I don’t follow football. We headed to Mad 4 Mex because that’s where all the cool kids were: crazy specials on cheap ass food, margaritas, and loud frat-worthy music = gigantic crowd of too-cool-for-schools with their bug-eye shades, preppy gear, and cigarettes, and wannabes, similarly with their bug-eye shades, preppy gear, and cigarettes; in this type of setting, being able to tell the difference between these two breeds is just a matter of actually knowing who’s who. Sadly, they’re both as douchy as one can be and it’s virtually impossible to walk more than two steps on campus without encountering a member of either clan. More shit waited for us at 6pm on the Green, where we all loaded up on beer and free food–admittedly a dumbass move on our part, seeing as we had reservations with Nodding Head at 8pm. Despite our collective fullness, we each ordered a full-blown motherfucking meal–all eleven of us. (Un)fortunately, Gus’ rib appetizer order came out wrong, and so he ended up receiving two huge stacks of ribs (the entree version) in addition to the fish & chips–which were to be shared with me, who had ordered the quiche du jour as an appetizer. Tommy, who had stuffed down something like three hot dogs, ordered a burger. Susan somehow got stuck with six+ hush puppies–I’m not sure what happened to us all that night, but I’m fairly sure we’re not normally that stupid. Add some beer to that, and we were set to go to Capogiro for some gelato. Thankfully we’re not THAT dumb, and those of us who couldn’t breathe anymore, let alone walk, decided against what would have been a delicious-but-regrettable treat.

Sunday wasn’t that interesting, so I’ll spare you the details. I did discover Saturday night that the cups Penn used to serve beer glow in the dark. Also, on our way to catch the train home that same night, Susan and I spotted twentysomething parking garage attendants jogging/running their asses off for quite a while. The best was that they weren’t all together; we saw them trickling in–in pairs, groups of three, or solo. It was hilarious, and if I had laughed just a little bit more I would have presented the streets of Center City with my lovely dinner.

I recently discovered Nouvelle Vague, a French new wave group that does mostly (if not only) covers of new wave(hence the name) and punk stuff. It’s good stuff; give it a listen.

This past Friday was First Friday and Iris came to town. This weekend also happened to be Parents’ Weekend at Penn, so Locust Walk was graced with the presence of artisans and jewelry makers and all sorts of arts & crafts goodness. After grabbing a few stickers and business cards, we headed down to South Street to check out Beadworks because I had decided to start some real hobbies (as mentioned in the previous entry). We got there about half an hour before closing time, so I found it very difficult to figure out what I wanted exactly. Thus, we left the store happy but empty handed. Onward to First Friday!

We visited some of our favorite galleries but didn’t bother going into F.U.E.L., where Red Bull was having its “Art of Can” exhibition. 1) It was too damn cold to be standing in line outside like it was a fucking nightclub, and 2) we saw it as being just another one of their marketing schemes. Plus, we had seen everything online already. And Red Bull tastes like piss on crack.

We tried to hit up Monk’s afterwards, but it was Friday night and well, it was ball-busting full. We were hungry and wanted to get home at a decent hour, so we opted for Nodding Head–which was equally packed. We tried a smaller, lower-key bar next door, but there were no tables available. We had passed The Happy Rooster earlier, and I mentioned then that it should be our last resort. As fate would have it, we ended up at the happy cock. And it was good.

Susan had told me that it was a different crowd–an older crowd. I saw it first-hand when we got there–men in suits, women drinking wine, a much quieter setting and a much tighter place. I liked it, and so did Iris, so we placed our orders–turkey ruben and Yuengling for her, steak frites and Bass for me–and chatted away. That’s when I got my meat served the right way for the second time in this country; now I know where to eat if I don’t want to be disappointed. We shared a piece of chocolate-espresso pecan pie for dessert, and on our way we were.
I’ve rambled enough for now. It’s 3:45am and I’ve got a meeting at work tomorrow, so I will leave you with a few words of wisdom: do NOT eat banana-flavored Laffy Taffy; it tastes like banana-flavored toothpaste (yes, I am unfortunate enough to know what that tastes like), and the jokes on the wrappers aren’t even funny.

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toomanythoughtsatonce

October 24, 2007 Leave a comment

What’s the difference between “light caffeine” and “less caffeine”? I’m guessing “light caffeine” contains less than “less caffeine” but I could be wrong; in any case, I’m currently having a cup of Mighty Leaf’s Marrakesh Mint Green Tea “light caffeine.” And it’s good.

More on driving: my second lesson went okay; apparently I drive too fast, and I go through turns too fast. The Need for Speed! Great game; you ever played it? This time I drove us from Chinatown to South Philly, where I could practice stopping at stop signs and making various turns, then back to Chinatown where we encountered a massive clusterfuck. Several detours later, I said goodbye to my instructor and met my mom for lunch.

I’ve decided that I need to get my ass in gear; get my shit together and look for something more stable than my current job–if we can call that a job.  Can you imagine working forty hours a week for months and then being stripped down to sixteen hours? It sucks, and it certainly does take a toll on your routine. This is not going to work. No, it’s not even working currently; I can’t deal with this part-time half-ass work situation. It sucks to not have any stability, or rather to have stability taken away from you. It makes no sense to me to have such a scattered schedule. I could condense sixteen weekly hours into two days of work, leaving me holding my figurative cock for three days of the week. I should have seen this coming.

No, I did. I saw it coming.

I have to look for something else, and unless I get my shit together it’s not going to happen.

I think what sucks more is that I just found out this evening that both Sliders AND Quantum Leap are available for instant viewing on Netflix. How am I supposed to get stuff done knowing that there are hours of entertainment waiting for me online? Ahhh, no self-discipline. I suppose that’s another thing I should master. Maybe after I get my license.

So this Marrakesh Mint Green Tea isn’t as awesome as it sounds. You know what is awesome, though? Bouchées à la reine. Leek quiches.

Sometimes warm weather is nice. Sometimes it isn’t. Right now, it isn’t.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , , ,

On the Road

October 15, 2007 Leave a comment

I drove for the very first time yesterday and no one was killed or even injured; it’s a miracle! What I did predict, however, was my constant inability to control my speed. I consistently drove over the speed limit, which could be the result of one of two things (or both): cars zooming past me way over the speed limit (this is, after all, Philadelphia), and my semi-conscious belief that I was in a video game. Whatever it was, I’m glad it didn’t get me into trouble.

My next six lessons are already scheduled, as is my road test. More on this after my second lesson (Thursday, October 18) — dun dun DUNNNN…

While I’m babbling about part of my weekend, let me tell you about the rest: Thursday the 11th marked the beginning of NWAV (New Ways of Analyzing Variation), an annual sociolinguistic conference hosted by a different university every time; this year’s host institution was Penn and the conference lasted until early Sunday afternoon. I can’t tell you how excited I was! Wait, yes I can: I was EXCITED. Registration cost quite a bit, but students could attend for the thrifty price of $nothing in exchange for four hours of their time spent volunteering at the registration table. While I’m no longer a student, I was given the opportunity via my job. Like I said: EXCITED.

I sat through very interesting talks; the event was definitely worth four hours of complete boredom. That being said, I wish some people would take the following things into consideration:

1) reading your entire paper from the podium does NOT constitute a presentation.
2) reading your entire paper without making any eye contact with your audience is worse than just reading your entire paper from the podium.
3) a PowerPoint presentation is ideal to outline your research; don’t attempt to cram every single detail into every slide. It’s YOUR research, and you should know it well enough to be able to talk about it without having everything written out. And it’s annoying to read.
4) reading aloud every single detail you crammed into every slide is just as bad as reading your entire paper, if not worse. We know how to read; please give us some credit.
5) colored shirts are darker when wet.

Nevertheless, the event was amazing.

You know what else is amazing? Trader Joe’s. And I really have to pee, but I promise I’ll rave about TJ’s in a later post.

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,